The Scanning Process
The technician will remove your order from the box and look over any special instructions, the method of organization and then spread the order out amongst 1-4 scanners based on quantity of slides sent.
Each scanner is equipped with a slide template that we use to scan 12 slides at a time. These are only for slides that measure 2×2 in mounted (overall) size. If you have slides that are outside the 2×2 dimension of a standard slide, please visit our FAQ here to learn more. Each slide is cleaned using a dust free cloth and an airbrush when needed to remove surface particles before mounting in the slide template.
Each scanning cycle is about 40-50 minutes and slides are previewed prior to the final scanning to insure coloration, lighting and cropping are all the best quality they can be. We will use Digital ICE if you’ve selected this upgrade as well as additional resolution upgrades (3200dpi or 4800dpi). Keep in mind though, if a slide is extremely under or over-exposed, there is little we can do to correct it. If there is no image visible once we preview before scanning, we will not scan that image and it will not go against your overall slide count.
Scanning In Order & Formatting
Based on how you have them organized in groups, you will either have several electronic folders that are named based on the labels you’ve provided or we will scan them sequentially into one single folder if you’ve numbered them. If there’s no logical order or grouping to them, we reserve the right to scan them at our discretion.
Unlike our photo scanning services, it is a little more difficult to keep slides in a perfect order due to the different slide formats. There are several types of slides as shown below:
However, our scanners are only calibrated to the standard (and most common) 35mm slide. If you have any other format, we have to manually crop the images out by hand and the sequential order of your slides can no longer be guaranteed at this point. We, of course, will make every attempt to keep them in order but quality does take precedence over sequence.
Once they have all been scanned, they will then go through a final editing process by the technician to ensure they are cropped cleanly, images were scanned in the correct orientation (not backwards), and renamed consecutively.
**If you have elected to forego Digital ICE, the technician will NOT make any attempts to remove the dust remaining on the slide image. Be prepared to receive images back that will need post-processing removal of dust/scratches if Digital ICE is not selected on your order.
First, it’s important that you remove the slides from their carousels, unless prior arrangements have been made after speaking with a VistaPix representative. In addition, if you have AirEquipt slide magazine, please remove the slides from the metal frames as this is an extra $5/per magazine fee if they haven’t been removed prior to sending to us.
Once your slides are removed from their respective carousels, it’s time to package them up. We recommend rubber banding them together in groups, then placing that group into a Ziploc bag with a label or number noting the order in which you’d like them scanned (of applicable). Your order will likely be processed on 4-6 separate scanners, so if you are able to break your slides into at least that many bundles, it will make scanning very efficient.
If your slides are being stored in their original boxes, you can leave them safely inside and label the outside of each box if you know the contents.
Our Epson V850 scanners are equipped with a tool called “Digital ICE” which stands for Image Correction & Enhancement. We recommend having your slides processed with Digital ICE because it makes for a dramatic improvement in dust, scratch and spot removal. It does not correct color issues – that is done on an “as needed” basis by the technician.
Running Digital ICE on slides does take significantly longer, but definitely worth the wait and additional fee associated with the service! Even the best-kept slides accumulate some dust particles that Digital ICE can remove. We also run color restoration to fix the color fading that can occur to slides over time. This brings back a more brilliant color, reduces orange/green hued slides and makes skies and seas bluer. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to receive your slide images back in better shape than you sent them!
Please note: Digital ICE cannot be used on black & white slides/film & does not work well on original Kodachrome slides (brown frame with red stripe).
We can scan *almost* any slide format. However, there is an additional fee for any sort of slide format that doesn’t fit into the standard dimension of 2×2. The standard (most common) formats we can scan with no additional handling fees are listed below:
As you can see, the actual image size within the mount may change, but the overall size of the slide does not. This allows us to use our pre-built templates to load 12 slides per scan on each of our Epson scanners.
Non-standard slides, or slides that are outside the 2×2 dimensions, will be charged an additional fee because they must be scanned manually and the technician must crop each image out by hand since our templates cannot be used. Non-standard formats include but are not limited to the following:
Mini 110mm (Pocket Slide)
120mm (Medium Format)
Glass Mounted slides (regardless of size)
AirEquipt Slides with Metal Frames attached
If you have any of these slide formats, please contact us first for a quantity based price quote.
Sorry, we cannot scan disc negatives/slides.
We’re glad you asked! We scan all formats of film and the pricing is listed below (based on quantity). Please call us to order any negative scanning services! We currently do not handle/scan APS (Advantix) or disc negatives.
|Bulk discounts available depending on quantity (see chart below)
4800dpi = .05¢/per frame (upon completion)
|Medium Format (up to 2 ¼ x 3 ½)||
|Large Format(> 2 ¼ x 3 ½)||
We are able to repair most moderate damage such as color fading, yellowing, dust and scratches, minor tears, and red eye. If you have major damage to your photo, we recommend consulting with a dedicated photo restoration company.
We offer two ways of evaluating your photo. You can scan the photo yourself and email it to us for evaluation (prior to sending us the original print), -OR- if you don’t have scanning capabilities, you can mail us the original photo and we will evaluate it in our facility. If we are able to restore the photo, we will call you with an estimate. If we aren’t able to restore it due to extensive damage, we will ship the photo back to you free of charge with our recommendations for companies who can assist you.
Once the restoration work is complete, you will receive a digital copy of your restored photo on a high quality CD-ROM. In addition, if you would like reprints from the restored image, it will be offered on the Photo Restoration Order Form. You may view our reprint prices on the Photo Restoration Info page.
Absolutely! We have some examples of photos we’ve restored that were color faded, creased, stained, and torn on our Photo Restoration Info page.
- Write your name and phone number on the outside of a Ziploc baggie large enough to hold each photo. Place the photo inside the bag to protect it from any moisture it could encounter during the shipping process.
- Sandwich it between cardboard pieces, and then tape the edges so the photo can’t slide out.
- Insert the wrapped photo and the Photo Restoration Order Form into an envelope (or box). If there is extra space in the box, fill it with bubble wrap, newspaper, or plastic bags.
- Seal the package securely and write “Photos – Do Not Bend” on the outside. Be sure to include your return address!
- Mail the package to us using a TRACKABLE shipper such as UPS, FedEx, or US Postal Service.
VistaPix Media, LLC
5115 W. Bell Rd. Ste B
Glendale, AZ 85308
** We cannot accept responsibility for your photo during shipment, so please use method of shipment that allows real-time tracking. We will contact you within 24-48 hours of receiving your photo to let you know we received it safely.
Yes, but only with a VALID copyright release from the photographer. If a copyright release cannot be obtained, the Photo Archiving Order Form contains a waiver stating that the photos are reproduced for personal archival use ONLY and not for commercial distribution.
I have photos that were cropped or cut at strange angles (for scrapbooking, etc.), can those be scanned?
The short answer is yes. Most anything can be scanned. However, the photo will scan exactly as it is cropped, so those areas won’t be filled in with anything except white/gray space. The preferred shape for scanning is rectangular or square with 4 corners. Photos with rounded corners may have a small amount of uncropped space at each corner. Polaroids are acceptable for scanning.
The photos will need to be removed from the pages for the best quality. However, if removing them from the album will cause damage to the photo(s), we can still attempt to scan the entire page, and then crop the photo. Using this process may result in a poorer quality scan, but that is a better alternative than a torn picture. There is an additional fee to scan album pages charged at $1.00/per page plus return shipping fees. Contact us directly if you have questions regarding albums. Please print and review the Album Scanning Order Guidelines below.
Unfortunately, due to the time consuming process of renaming photos, we cannot accommodate custom file names. All files will be .JPG files and arranged in numerical order such as “00001.JPG” (or similar). However, we are able to organize photos into named folders on the CD. When you organize the photos being sent, please bundle them in the groups that you want to be in each named folder. Notate the name you want the folder to have at the top of the bundle. Preferably, we would like to have at least 25 photos for a folder to be created.
We will scan the photos in the order by which we receive them from you. For example, if you have a collection of photos documenting a child growing up, please stack the photos in order from youngest to oldest and we will scan in that order. If we receive photos in no particular order, we will assume you did not have any preference in scan order.
VistaPix wants to make the process as easy as possible for you. We will mail you a box with a prepaid return FedEx label when you place your order. If you already have a suitable shipping box, simply choose the option at checkout to have us EMAIL you a label and we’ll get that and the other order documents to you in 1 business day rather than having to wait for a box to be mailed to you. Simply add your photos to the box, seal and send back to us using the FedEx label we supply. For a details on how to pack your box (and avoid additional charges), please click here to view our “Scanning Fees & Guidelines“. You can also view our blog post for tips on how to organize your photos before shipment.
Yes! Our state-of-the-art scanners allow us to scan your slides and negatives at a very high dpi setting (3000). A couple of things to remember: do not cut your negatives apart and leave them in the sleeves (if you have them). Contact us for quotes on negatives and visit our slide scanning page for current pricing and packages.
We prefer to scan photos at 600dpi. Although this results in a little more time spent scanning, you end up with digital images suitable for large reprints (in most cases). If you are simply scanning photos to be archived digitally with no desire for reprints, 300dpi is perfectly suitable. However, using 600dpi (assuming you are sending us photos that are at least 4×6 in size), reprints can be made up to 11×14.
Absolutely! From the time they arrive at our door, we will ensure their safety and confidentiality. We pride ourselves on a fast turnaround time so your precious photos will be out of your possession for the shortest length of time possible. They will be kept under lock and key at all times, except when we are scanning them or packaging them up securely to return to you. Although we cannot accept liability of your photos during shipment, we have had very good service using FedEx.
Photographs are truly priceless, irreplaceable “bookmarks” that hold each page of our lives as a visual reminder of our past. For something so significant, it is vital to preserve them the best way we know how; digitally. Digital media won’t deteriorate, discolor, or fade with time. They can be stored in a much smaller space than the boxes of photographs currently taking up room in closets, attics, and basements. Multiple copies can be made to share with family and friends. Lastly, the process of transferring your photos is an easy, but time consuming task. That’s where VistaPix Media comes in. Visit our Photo Archiving Information to place an order and have your most treasured memories preserved.
No! We are very up front with everything we charge and an explanation as to why. The package price that you pay is charged up front and any extra charges you may incur is clearly explained in the paperwork you receive with the box. For a list of additional fees, please review our Scanning Guidelines & Fees.
It’s rare that clients have exactly 500, 1000 or 2,000 photos. This is why we have the discounted “overage” fee listed in each of our packages. We recommend purchasing the lesser quantity of the two packages you fall between and upon completion, we will either bill you the overage fee for the remaining photos or charge for an additional package, whichever is cheaper. For example, if you have 2500 photos, you don’t need to purchase a 2000 photo package and (1) additional 500 photo package. Just purchase a 2000-Photo package and we’ll charge the 15 cents/per photo for the remaining 500 ($75) upon completion.
The short answer is no. We use DVD discs as data discs just like a CD – except they hold more information. But most DVD players are not able to read the type of file your photos will be burned as (jpeg). The DVD disc is compatible with any PC/Mac computer and some DVD players that can read data (check your DVD player specifications). Keep in mind that our photo scanning is not the same as our photo slideshow service in which we add music, special transitions and effects and can be viewed as a movie on your DVD player.
If you are sending digital files, you may send us .JPEG, .PNG, or .TIF files. They should be at least 1000×750 pixels (right click on the photo, select “Properties” and look at the “Details” tab to find this number). If you are scanning in your photos and sending the digital versions to us, please make sure to scan at 300dpi or more. If you are sending us paper photographs, we can accept anything from wallet size to 8×10.
We recommend any form of shipping that can track your shipment. The speed at which you send your items directly impacts how quickly we can start working on your video slideshow, so the faster, the better. Take great care in packaging your photos, mark them “Photos – Do Not Bend” and package them inside a Ziploc bag to protect them from any water damage they could encounter during shipment. VistaPix Media cannot be held responsible for the handling of your material during shipment, but guarantee their security while they are in our care.
By all means! This is a great way to avoid the additional labor charge for us to scan them in for you. Just be sure you are using the highest dpi setting (at least 300dpi) on your scanner to ensure the best quality images for your video slideshow. If you have questions about our scanning services, please see our Photo Archiving Info.
ure! All of our packages include the option to include video clips. It is a good idea to keep clips less than 2 minutes long to increase the dramatic effect of the slideshow. We are able to work with .mpg, .mov, .mpeg, and .avi file types. If you choose to include any video clips, please let us know the start/stopping points.
VistaPix Media can use any song(s) you request by either purchasing them on your behalf from iTunes (included in the package price) or by having you send the CD that contains the song directly to us. Because these songs are purchased legally and for your personal use, we are abiding by FAIR USE Act Provisions (2007). If you need suggestions for music, please contact us and we’d be happy to suggest the perfect accompaniment to your slideshow. One note regarding song choices: Be sure you listen to the whole song to make sure the lyrics are appropriate for the tone and subject of your slideshow. Sometimes an instrumental version of the song may be a better choice.
At VistaPix Media, we believe in the power of a picture. It can invoke emotion, capture a fleeting moment forever, or be the catalyst that sells an idea. We enjoy creating video slideshows for the same reason you enjoy watching them. For some, it may be to celebrate a life changing event like a wedding, birth of a child, or retirement. For others, it may be a somber occasion to pay tribute to a loved one. For a business owner, a slideshow on their website may be the difference between them and the competition. No matter what the occasion, we are honored to play a part in how you remember it. We strive to creatively capture the intent of your slideshow while conveying a message of joy, admiration, reverence, or professionalism. VistaPix Media creates a captivating journey with your photographs by using their individual significance to create a collective presentation that is far more powerful. View our Portfolio to see the VistaPix difference.
In general, each photo will have a 7 second screen time (including transition time between photos). So, that would equal about 8-9 photos per minute. If an average song lasts 3 minutes, you would need about 24-27 photos per song. This will also allow for an intro and conclusion if you so wish. Keep in mind, more basic transitions and photo effects will run slightly faster than the more complex ones. We will determine the style of slideshow you prefer by asking you some simple questions after you place your order. In general, we don’t recommend making a slideshow with more than 200 photos as it can be very lengthy to view as well as to create.
While digital photos are preferred for both the quality and ease in transfer, you may certainly send us your paper photos to be scanned in at the highest quality (600dpi). Our scanning process automatically performs basic color adjustments as well as dust and scratch removal to assure the best quality possible for your video slideshow. We can also scan negatives as well as slides. Photos that have been cropped at odd angles, used in scrapbooks, or have extensive tears or water damage are not recommended for slideshows. In addition, having a variety of horizontal and vertical photos will give more dimension to your slideshow.